Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake recipe

This recipe is based half on Pierre Hermé and half on David Everitt-Matthias recipes for a similar cake. It spent some time on and off menus when I was in kitchens and is to date probably our most requested recipe. I like taking the Sicilian approach and pairing with Prickly Pear sorbet or something bright and tart to counteract the rich, alkaline nature of the cake. This ratio of butter to EVOO yields a fairly round richness, but you can raise the the EVOO percentage and use a peppery Tuscan or Nuovo oil to yield a much more phenolic and spicy cake.

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake
(Wishing I had taken a picture
of the cake...)

3 oz. coarse grain rice flour
8 oz. unsalted shelled pistachios – skins removed as much as possible. I like to use about      half-and-half untoasted bright green for color and half toasted for flavor
3 oz. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
good pinch salt

6 oz. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. barely melted butter

4 whole eggs
9 oz. sugar

zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, plus juice of one half lemon

9” springform pan, placed on baking sheet

Bake at 300F for approximately 70 minutes. Cake will remain soft and a toothpick may not come out completely clean, but it will firmly set. 200F is a good temperature target. Use the jiggle test primarily. Do not remove from pan until completely cool, at least 2 hours.

Combine rice flour, pistachios, flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor and process until finely textured but still about chunky.

Mix barely melted unbroken butter with olive oil.


Whip eggs in kitchen mixer with a balloon whisk, gradually reaching high speed while slowly adding sugar. Whip on high for three minutes to ribbon stage. Turn speed to medium and very slowly add oil/butter mixture as if making aioli – be sure to maintain the emulsion, but it may collapse depending on the butter, but that is ok. Add juice, zest, and then gently fold in pistachio mixture from food processor. Pour into well buttered springform pan and bake as indicated above.